Desmond Bergin and the Crimson welcome New Brunswick for an exhibition Saturday (Gil Talbot).
Harvard (0-0-0) vs. New Brunswick (3-0-0)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard men's hockey team hits the ice for the first time at Bright-Landry Hockey Center this season Saturday evening, hosting the New Brunswick Varsity Reds in an exhibition at 7 p.m. Fans can watch the game live on the Ivy League Digital Network with Bill Spaulding and Tim Culverhouse on the call.
The First Line
• Harvard captured the ninth ECAC Hockey Tournament title in program history in 2015, downing Colgate in the finals, 4-2. Jimmy Vesey netted a pair of goals in the win, with Patrick McNally and Colin Blackwell also finding the back of the mesh.
• The ECAC Tournament title and subsequent trip to the NCAA Tournament were the first for the Crimson since 2006. Harvard met Nebraska-Omaha in the West Regional hosted by Notre Dame, falling to the Mavericks, 4-1.
• The coaches of the ECAC voted Harvard as its preseason pick to win the league, the first such time that the Crimson has been atop either the coaches' or media poll in the ECAC since 2003-04. The media that voted in the poll picked the Crimson to finish third behind Yale and Quinnipiac.
• Senior forward Jimmy Vesey was selected to the ECAC coaches' and media preseason all-conference team. He was also selected to the College Hockey News preseason All-America first team. The honors come a year after Vesey was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, the Walter Brown Award Winner, a CCM Hockey East First Team All-American and the ECAC and Ivy League Player of the Year.
Scouting New Brunswick
The Varsity Reds are 3-0 in regular season games as part of the Atlantic University Conference. Canadian Interuniversity Sport ranked New Brunswick No. 2 in its most recent poll of collegiate Canadian teams.
New Brunswick has ventured south of the border for a number of exhibitions this season. In early October, UNB topped Boston College, 5-2, but fell to UMass-Lowell, 3-2. Maine will host the Varsity Reds Friday evening.
The Harvard offense will seem familiar to Crimson fans, and for good reason. Of 121 goals last season, student-athletes that accounted for 106 of those return this season. This includes the Crimson's top line of Jimmy Vesey (32), Kyle Criscuolo (17) and Alexander Kerfoot (8) who accounted for 57 goals in 2014-15.
Returning co-captain Kyle Criscuolo provided a team-best 31 assists in 2014-15. He is the first Crimson skater with at least 30 assists in a season since Tim Pettit in 2002-03.
Whitelaw Returns to Cambridge
The Whitelaw Cup, awarded to the ECAC Tournament champion, was raised by Harvard Saturday, March 21, 2015 for the ninth time in the history of Crimson hockey. Harvard last won the ECAC championship in 2006, the second year with head coach Ted Donato behind the bench.
40-40 Captains Club
Harvard's senior co-captains and linemates provided quite the 1-2 punch for the Crimson as juniors. With Jimmy Vesey posting 58 points and Kyle Criscuolo tallying 48, the 2014-15 campaign marked the first time since 2002-03 that Harvard has had two 40-point scorers in one year. That season saw three players reach the mark (Dominic Moore-51, Tim Pettit-47 and Brett Nowak-41).
Harvard boasts eight players on its 2015-16 roster that were selected in the NHL Entry Draft:
• Colin Blackwell (2011, San Jose, 7th rd.)
• Ryan Donato (2014, Boston, 2nd rd.)
• Alexander Kerfoot (2012, New Jersey, 5th rd.)
• Merrick Madsen (2013, Philadelphia, 6th rd.)
• Sean Malone (2013, Buffalo, 6th rd.)
• Tyler Moy (2015, Nashville, 6th rd.)
• Wiley Sherman (2013, Boston, 5th rd.)
• Jimmy Vesey (2012, Nashville, 3rd rd.)
Seniors Kyle Criscuolo and Jimmy Vesey will wear the 'C' this season for the Crimson. A year ago, Criscuolo became the first junior captain for the Crimson since William Ayers '47 wore the 'C' in 1945-46. Criscuolo joins a prestigious group of Harvard hockey players as he is just the fourth-ever two-time captain since the Crimson first took the ice in 1897. George Owen, Jr. '23 was the last two-time captain for Harvard in 1921-22 and 1922-23, with John E.P. Morgan '17 (1915-16, 1916-17) and William S. Beardsell '00 (1898-00, 1899-00) preceding him.
Vesey takes on greater leadership duties this season after putting together one of the most prolific offensive seasons in recent Harvard history last year. The Hobey Baker Award finalist and Walter Brown Award winner led the nation with 32 goals and finished third with 58 points.
Leading By Example
Kyle Criscuolo has been not only a model player for the Crimson, but he is also getting it done in the classroom. Last season, Criscuolo was named the ECAC Student-Athlete of the Year, the first Harvard player to receive the award.
Criscuolo's teammates were paying attention, as a total of 22 Crimson student-athletes earned all-academic distinction from the ECAC.
Harvard's selections to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic team included: Thomas Aiken, Ryan Begoon, Desmond Bergin, Colin Blackwell, Joseph Caffrey, Kyle Criscuolo, Eddie Ellis, Luke Esposito, Greg Gozzo, Jake Horton, Brayden Jaw, Alexander Kerfoot, Merrick Madsen, Sean Malone, Ryan McGregor, Victor Newell, Michael Seward, Wiley Sherman, Peter Traber, Devin Tringale, Jimmy Vesey and Phil Zielonka.
Bright-Landry Hockey Center
The home of Harvard hockey, the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, saw the Crimson go 8-4-2 in its first year after completion of extensive renovations. This season, the Crimson will play 11 regular season games in its home arena. Harvard will also be the home team at the Rivalry on Ice game at Madison Square Garden against Quinnipiac in January.
About the Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring multiple camera angles, replay, and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Harvard is proud to announce the addition of closed captioning for men's and women's hockey to make its Ivy League Digital Network broadcasts of those two teams accessible to all.
Closed captioning for the Crimson's hockey programs will be available on desktop and mobile devices. The service is provided by Vitac (vitac.com).